Resco Explorer 2007 for Palm OS, Pocket PC & Windows Mobile Smartphone

Reviewed by: Mark Goldstein, June 2007
Published by: Resco
Requires: Palm OS v5.0 or later or Windows Mobile Pocket PC or Windows Mobile Smartphone; support for device resolutions of 160x160, 320x320, 320x480 portrait/landscape (DIA supported), 1MB free device memory; compatible with JackFlash and LeftHack
MSRP: US$29.95

Resco Explorer 2007 is a comprehensive file manager for Palm OS, Pocket PC and Windows Mobile Smartphone devices. It addition to detailed file management functions, Resco Explorer 2007 also offers ZIP compression, a built-in file and photo viewer, registry editor, file association controls, network browser, FTP-add in, quick search, sending files via Bluetooth or IRDA, strong file encryption, a Today plugin for Pocket PC devices, and a recycle bin. Although it's not particularly tiny, at 350KB Resco Explorer 2007 still easily fits into the more generous device memory of the latest PDAs and smartphones.

First and foremost, Resco Explorer 2007 is a powerful file management utility. For those of you who sometimes wonder whether or not the Palm OS or Windows Mobile files and file systems can be as transparent and manipulable as Windows or Mac OS X, rest assured that like all operating systems they're just as easy to fiddle with as anything else out there. Whether or not you should fiddle is up to you of course—readers and users beware—but Resco Explorer 2007 at least provides the tools needed to go foraging in the nether regions of your handheld devices. Considering that Palm OS is the odd duck of all file systems, and considering the grossly underpowered state of the built-in Palm file management tools, Resco Explorer 2007 feels like a breath of fresh air.


Resco Explorer 2007 includes a program launcher that can be set as the default system launcher in Palm OS. Resco will launch programs wherever they're stored including expansion cards. More important, Resco Explorer 2007 can be used to launch individual documents. Some will like the program launcher functionality for sure, but I think many others will ignore it in favor of Resco Explorer's file management strengths. If you're using Resco to browse a folder full of documents, all you have to do is tap one to start its associated program and load the file. Choose between one- or two-panel modes, horizontal or vertical layout and setup other views as well.

All of the customary file handling functions are present including copy, move, delete, rename, move to card and move to device. The enhanced file handling features are more interesting, in particular drag & drop between folders displayed in the Resco tree view, multiple file selection, RAM/card conversions, file and folder sorting selections, a basic search function and basic view and result filtering. There seems to be a lot of functionality packed into a relatively small package. For many people, the Resco Explorer 2007 Backup tool will probably sit at or near the top of the list of file handling features. It's not fancy (and somewhat reminiscent of BackupBuddy), but it's fast, effective and can also be set to perform a backup verification. Backup, more than any of the other integrated features in Resco Explorer, turns what might otherwise have been a vaguely decent utility into a truly comprehensive toolbox.

Resco Zipper is a file compression function which uses the ZIP algorithm to compress files for either transfer or storage. It works, albeit slowly, and creates archives that can be read by WinZip. Any time a list of files or a folder has been highlighted, Zipper becomes active so that a compressed archive can be created simply by tapping the Zipper icon at the bottom of the Resco screen.

The list of features goes on — FTP (watch your data plan charges!), an image viewer, RAM analyzer, file viewer with integrated HEX/text/database editor, and Control Panel which integrates more enhanced features such as editors of preferences, file associations, alarms and additional system information.

Navigate around Resco by tapping icons in the folder pane or by tapping entries and icons in the folder tree. Resco Explorer 2007 responds quickly and accurately to taps—I didn't find any misaligned or mis-targeted activation areas even when I deliberately misaligned my screen. Resco seems to have put a lot of thought into usability and it shows everywhere in the product.

Cons: The image viewer is very limited and does not offer any navigation controls while an image is being displayed. The text mode/Hex editor is useful but basic, so you need to be very careful to avoid messing up important files.

Pros: Operation is stable and mercifully crash free on Palm OS. Operation on Windows Mobile Pocket PC devices is just as solid. Resco Explorer 2007 continues in the footsteps of Resco Explorer 2005, improving its features and adding many new ones. File Types Highlighting, Status bar, and a customizable startup folder makes managing files even easier than before. Users will also appreciate improvements in the area of networking, the ability to view encrypted files with the built-in viewer, running application manager in the Today plugin and so on. Among the more useful features in the launcher is the ability to start programs from within a ZIP archive. File editing functions, though somewhat limited, are useful for making quick file name changes and completing other minor tasks; Palm OS on the other hand allows you to edit precisely nothing. Resco Explorer 2007 is designed for heavy duty PDA and smartphone users. Recommended.

KSN Product Rating:



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